Thirukadaiyur Abhirami Amman temple



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Thirukadaiyur temple timings


Since we went during Margazhi the temple opened early - by 4.30 am
The usual timings are from 5 am to 12 noon
and in the evening between 4.30 pm and 8.30 pm

Thirukadaiyur temple some images | photos


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This board in Tamil states that temple for Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi ( named Sri Amirtha Narayana perumal and Goddess Amirthavalli ) is 10 minutes from Thirukadaiyur.  It requests devotees to visit this temple also and get Their Blessings.

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The photo above is outside Sage Markandeya temple . It is said that he is the son of Sage Mrukanda and Maruthuvathi and was born after a lot of tapas.   He did penance here ( Thiru manal medu )   to ward of danger that was to occur at the age of 16.  This village is one kilometre from Thirukadaiyur.  It is said that a pilgrimage to abode of Goddess Abhirami and Lord Amirthakateswara is complete only if we visit this temple too.

Places to stay in Thirukadaiyur

There is the Devasthanam guest house outside the temple.  Since we did not go inside I have no idea about it.  About a kilometre before the temple is the accommodation offered by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation.

Apart from this there are lots of private guest houses or hotels.  The room rents are like this Rs.1000 for a double bed accomodation and Rs.1500 for a triple bed room accommodation.  Some hotels have Deluxe accommodation also.  The facilities inside are good with air conditioner ( though we did not need it because of the Margazhi season ).  Storage water heater facility is available.  
Food is also quiet decent in some hotels.

The advantage of staying is Thirukadaiyur when we travel from Chennai ( some prefer Mayavaram or Kumbakonam ) is that the following parihara sthalams are nearby.

Vaitheeswaran Koil ( Sevvai sthalam or temple for Mars ) is 32 km away
Thiruvenkaadu ( Budhan sthalam or temple for Mercury ) is 23 km away
Thirunallaru  ( Sanieswarar sthalam or temple for Saturn ) is 30 km away
Kanchanur ( Sukra Sthalam or temple for Venus ) is 43 km away
Keezha Perumpallam ( Kethu sthalam ) is 24 km away.

What we can do is , if we are travelling from Chennai it takes about 5 hours if we go directly to Thirukadaiyur.  So we may reach in time for the morning darshan.  We can book an accommodation,  ( nowadays it can be done online also , according to the hotel manager )  .  Then we can go to Thirunallaru and return . If we return in time, as we did we can have one more darshan at night.
The next day in the morning we can go to Budhan or Sukra Sthalam and return .  After lunch we should start at around 3 pm so that we can go the Vaitheesawaran koil , Keezha Perumpallam and Chidambaram depending upon the availability of time and return to Chennai via Chidambaram.

Abhirami Amman temple story ( stories )


This temple  is associated with "Amritha " the Nectar for which the Devas and Asuras fought.  The sannidhi of Kalla Varana Pillaiyur ( Lord Ganesh ) who took the Amrita Kalasam is in this temple and hence associated with this legend.

The blessings received by Sage Markendaya from Lord Shiva who saved him  is also at this place according to mythology.

Recently ( few centuries back )   Goddess Abhirami blessed Abhirami Bhattar .  Abhirami Bhattar on Thai Amavasai ( Amavasaya after Makara Sankranti ) told the King, Sarfoji of Thanjavur ( he was a Maratta King ) that it was a full moon day but it was actually a new moon.  Pleased with Bhattars prayers that is sang in the form of Abhirami Andhadi ,  Goddess threw Her huge ear rings called Thatanka in the sky and the brilliance made it appear like a full moon !

So overall it is a very Punya Kshethram and we have to visit .

You may want to read the link below

Abhirami Padhigam some songs in Tamil and with English translation






Chennai to Shirdi by flight

There are many tour packages that are available for pilgrimages to various places by flight , by train and by bus.  For Shirdi there are packages operated by IRCTC.  Though we tried our best the dates did not match so we opted for a private tour package operator.

All of them charge between Rs.9500 and Rs.10500 approximately depending upon the flight charges for economy class flights that are slightly variable.

Of course we can have our own custom packages but it is always nice to travel with families that are strangers some of who become our friends during the pilgrimage.

The packages are usually for Wednesday and Thursday or Saturday and Sunday.  Thursday is very important and holy for Shirdi and Saturday, Sunday are weekends.  So there will be heavy rush .
If we want to avoid the crowd we can opt for custom packages on other week days.
To add to the week end factor we went on the 1st of January so we can imagine the crowd that would have been present, lakhs and lakhs of pilgrims were there.

The flights chosen are early in the morning at 5.30 am for departure and 11.30 pm for return - Chennai to Pune and Pune to Chennai respectively.  The advantage is that more time is available and the fares are also cheap.   At Pune our tour operator arranged a bus for all of us ( around 30 ) .  The bus took us to a restaurant .  Incidentally the package does not include breakfast , lunch or dinner .
We are pleasantly surprised to get good quality and hot idly, dosa and coffee in a small restaurant and it was actually very cheap too when we compare with Chennai restaurants.

From there we went to Shirdi by bus , as I said already it was first of January and there was very heavy rush.  We tried for Rs.200 tickets but the counter was closed due to heavy rush.  So all of us went to the Dharma Darshan and waited for a few hours in the queue.  Hot tea was served in the queue by the temple authorities at one point and we were so thankful because we were hungry.

Near the sannidhi a miracle happened , He is known to perform miracles.  The security guards weere pushing everyone out after darshan , when my husband, my daughter and I came near the sannidhi , we tried to move away ( there were dozens of pilgrims around us ) , the security guard pulled my husband inside and said "wait, why are you in a hurry !"  .  Then the priest offered a shawl that was on Sai Baba to my husband and to me he gave a bouquet as prasadam.  We were overwhelmed and overjoyed.

We came out and had dinner at one of the restaurants near the temple.  The next day the bus started and the guide requested all of us sing devotional songs.  Our first stop was Shingnapur  and the next stop was Renuka Devi temple.  Renuka Devi temple is also called the Glass temple as it is decorated with glass.  The Moola Vigraha is a swayambu and for darshan we have to go down a flight of stairs to the basement.

  Then we went Rajangaon Ganpati temple near Pune.  We were surprised to get organic fruits at just Rs.50 per kg ( They are simple people there leading a simple and peaceful life ) while organic fruits are sold at Rs.200 to Rs.300 kg in Chennai.  The temple arch is very beautiful and the temple itself is very beautiful and so is the Garbha Graha .

Few years back, we as a family went to Shirdi from Nagpur ( where my sister lives , her family also came with us ) .  From Nagpur we went to Manmad by train and from Manmad we went to Shirdi by a private taxi.
On the way we were fortunate to have the darshan of Parvari Baba as he is called there. It is very rare and difficult to have his darshan the locals say.

How to make different types of podi


Vatha kuzhambu powder preparation

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The ingredients required and measurements are as follows

  • Dhania or coriander 3 cups , urad dhal 2 cups ,  gram dhal 2 cups , 1 1/2 cups toor dhal
  • One cup jeera or cumin seeds , one cup milagu or pepper 
  • One tea spoon fenugreek seeds , little rice and 10-15 byadgi chillies
  • All except chillies are to be dry roasted separately because the roasting time is different for each
  • For chillies add a little  oil and roast so that the oil takes care of the hot vapours emanating 
  • Or dhania and urad dhal are roasted separately
  • Then gram dhal and  toor dhal  are roasted
  • Then cumin seeds , pepper , rice and fenugreek are roaste
  • Finally the chillies are roasted.
  • Allow them  to cool in air
  • Dry grind in a mixer and store in an air tight container.
  • It can also be used as sambar powder



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Spices powder  for mixed rice 


  • This podi can be used for increasing the flavour of mixed rice like potato rice  or potato , tomato and cucumber rice
  • Ingredients required are dhania - 2 table  spoons , gram dhal one table  spoon , few red chillies
  • Optional ingredients are lavangam ( cloves ) and cinnamon bark 
  • Dry roast in a hollow vessel and grind in a mixer 
  • This powder can also be used to increase the flavour of bhindi or ladies finger fry or potato fry
  • This can be stored in a dry container and used when ever needed

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Bisi bele bath powder recipe 

Bisi means hot bele means dhal in Kannada , it is called bisi bele huli anna which translates into hot dhal sambar rice.  This is one of the most popular recipes of Karnataka now followed in many other states because of it unique taste and flavour.  Like many other recipes there are different methods of making it I share my method which is authentic method handed over by my mother   It is also called mandi sambar bath  and cooked in a special stone vessel.

The ingredients are two table  spoons dhania , one and half  table spoon gram dhal ,  one tea spoon fenugreek , khas khas or grated dry coconut , cinnamon and cloves.  I have used Kashmir red chillies .  It gives excellent flavour and colour .  The quantity is usually 10 to 12 chillies.  Since it is not very hot if needed we can add few common chillies also if we want bisi bele bath hot and spicy.

Take a little oil and roast all the ingredients except grated coconut.   Grated coconut is added finally as otherwise it can get over cooked.  When the dhal turns golden brown in colour switch off the stove.  Allow the ingredients to cool.  When they become cool dry grind in a mixer to get a fine powder.  Bisi bele bath powder is ready .


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Fenugreek mustard seeds powder ( kadugu vendhaya podi )

One part fenugreek and one part mustard seeds have to be dry roasted and ground in a mixer.  This powder can be stored in an air tight container.  When added to pudina thokku , tomato thokku and coriander or kothamalli thokku it gives a fine flavour.  This powder is to be added finally , the thokku stirred well and the stove switched off.  If we boil after adding this powder fenugreek will make the thokku bitter.

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Idli milagai podi ( powder ) recipe 

  • The required ingredients are one measure urad dhal , half measure gram dhall, asafoetida, 10-15 red chillies and one and half table spoon white  sesame seeds.
  • First dry roast white sesame seeds till the colour changes
  • Next add a little oil and roast the urad dhal, gram dhal , asafoetida and chillies
  • When the dhals are roasted we get a fine "fragrance "
  • Roast the salt required for idli milgai powder
  • I add a little jaggery and that is optional
  • Dry grind in a mixer
  • As the name suggests it is a fine  side dish for idli and of course dosa with oil
  • Some use it as a side dish for curd rice without oil !

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Dry chutney powder recipe

  • A simple side dish for rice , idli and dosa or chapati
  • The ingredients are urad dhal  one measure , quarter measure gram dhal , one tea spoon mustard ,
  • asafoetida , 10 to 15 red chillies and a small  piece of tamarind
  • Dry roast urad dhal without oil on medium flame till the colour changes
  • Then dry roast gram dhal also separately
  • Roast the red chillies with a little  oil and tamarind
  • Then add mustard and asafoetida. Finally roast the salt  required also.
  • Allow them to  cool, grind in a mixer and store in an air tight container 

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Thiruvanthipuram Sri Devanatha swamy temple


Sri Devanatha swamy temple timings , Thiruvaheendipuram

The board below shows that Devanatha swamy temple is open between
 6am  and 12 noon in the morning
4pm and 8.30 pm in the evening

The temple is near Cuddalore , 28.5 kilometre from Puducherry bus stand.  and is a 50 minute to one hour drive.

The Lord is considered to be the elder brother of Lord Venkateswara of Thirumala

Sri Lakshmi Hyagreeva Sannidhi Oushadagiri


The sannidhi is on a small hill opposite to the temple entrance.  It is believed that when Lord Hanuman flew with the Sanjeevi Parvatha a part of it fell here and hence the name Oushada giri.  So a visit to the sannidhi cures diseases.  Since Hyagreeva is the Lord for education also this shrine of Laxmi Hyagreeva is popular with school going children and their parents placing pens, pencils etc before examinations and taking the blessings of the Lord.

This shrine is open between
7.30 am and 12.00 noon in the morning
4.30 pm and 7.30 pm in the evening.

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This board gives some information about the temple in Tamil
The temple belongs to Pallava, Chozha period
The Lord is Sri Devanantha Swamy
The Goddess is Sengamala Thayar
Stala vriksha or tree - Vilva or Bilva
The names of important tanks called theertham are also mentioned.


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The information on the board translated in English is

Greatness of the shrine

He who blessed Goddess Saraswathi , Lakshmi Hyagreeva blesses His devotees with education , wealth , blesses them in their vocation and  healthy life.
Children are blessed in their educational pursuits and elders in their vocation or business when they come to this shrine that was formed  when a part of Sanjeevi Hill or Parvath carried by Lord Hanuman fell here.

Offerings include sugar candy, cardamom garland ( elakkai malai )

We can visit this temple when we plan a trip of temple in Pondicherry or we can include this temple in our pilgrimage to Chidambaram or Thirukadaiyur.  When we travel from Chennai as we did ,  we can have darshan in this temple and proceed to Thirukadaiyur.  We can have a darshan in Chidambaram when we return .  This is because after darshan of Sri Devanatha Swamy we may not have time to reach Chidambaram before the temple  closes in the morning and that is around 12 noon.

Tulasi kota mundu muggulu video


   Kuber rangoli | Aishwarya Patra rangoli | Lakshmi Hrudya rangoli |  

     

Aishwarya patra rangoli or muggu

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Drawn in the Puja room and for Tulsi kota it is an auspicious kolam.  It is not drawn at the entrance.
The dot pattern is 7 dots at the centre, 8 dots on either side.  Next we have one row of 7 dots on either side , 6 dots one row each on either side and finally three dots on either side.

Lakshmi Hrudaya rangoli and

I have added an image with different colours to show how the dots are connected
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 Kubera rangoli

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Both have similar dot patterns.  Start with a dot at the centre.  Then eight arms each with five dots in eight directions.

Hridaya kamal rangoli is drawn connecting the dots in the order 1,4,2,5,3,1

Kubera rangoli is drawn using the following procedure.  Place the dot grid.  Draw five parallel lines of decreasing length outside the dot grid.  Connect these lines with the dots drawn in the eight arms.
Watching the video will give a better idea

Geethala muggulu for Tulsi kota

This is one of the most popular rangoli with lines for Tulsi Maa , Friday Puja room decoration and for functions in our family.  My other used to call it the Hase rangoli.

The picture shows the side view of the rangoli

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We can offer aarthi in Telugu for Tulsi after Puja in Friday.  The video below shows the aarthi in our family for Lakshmi , Tulsi Pooja

    

Sampangi poo maiai images with steps


Flower decoration for Lakshmi Pooja | Flower decoration for Pooja room

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We need sampangi ( sugantha roja also in Tamil ) , tube rose in English and a  ball of thread. Since the flower is long and slender we cannot tie on opposite sides and so we can tie only on one side.  So the bottom of the flowers are tied together.  This method gives a plait like appearance to the knots.

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First tie two knots for the first flower
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Place the next flower, string goes below the second flower to the left

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Tie both flowers together
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Next tie the 2nd and 3rd flowers together

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A close up view of how the knot is made
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The result after completing
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Flower decoration for Ganpati | Flower decoration for temple

Remove all the petals from a lotus
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Take four petals of almost same size and smaller than the sampangi
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Tie them together

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The method is as in the previous method,  tie first and second flowers ( lotus petals and sampangi combination ) together
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The pictures show different ways we can use this combination , with sampangi at the top or lotus petals at the top

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DIY easy cotton craft ideas projects

 We can use different techniques to get beautiful cotton haara or garlands for festivals ( Varamahalakshmi Habba or Ganesh Chaturthi ).  The video is one of them.  Use cotton that is sold in Puja stores .  Make the cotton workable as shown in the video and depending upon the thickness we can use a single strand or split into two.  I have split the cotton into two .  Using milk or water make the traditional cotton hara or gejje vastra as it also called.  Fold it into two.  The rest is easy.  At the narrow portions stick decorative trinkets using fabric glue.  A different type of decorative trinket is stuck in the remaining gaps.  We need thread or string for tying the garland  to the idol of God or Goddess or kalash.  Decorative threads are available in craft shops and that thread can be fastened to the haara as shown in the thumb nail in the video below.  
 
     

Cotton crafts are among the most popular craft ideas for school projects and other craft ideas.  Traditionally cotton is also used in Pujas for vastra in India . We can also use cotton for craft ideas for decoration of God and for festival decoration.  Some traditional and novel craft using cotton are shared in this post.  Rangolisansdots is mainly about rangoli but there some  craft and recipe ideas and recipe ideas related to festivals ( called naivedyam ) so that Rangolisandots will  be useful for many purposes for many people.



This is the traditional cotton garland for God ( also called panju thiri malai or gejje vastra ) which  is used to decorate Gods and Goddesses .  The two cotton pieces at the ends are dipped in kumkum mixed with water to hold the vastra.  The belief is that we offer new clothes or vastra to God. 

 While for Varalakshmi Habba or festival and Navratri , Sravan Sukruvar we use kumkum to decorate the vastra , for Ganesh Chaturthi decoration and Naga Chaturthi we use turmeric powder mixed in water For Varalakshmi Vratham we use 25 cotton ball vastra for Ganesha Chaturthi we use 21 cotton ball vastra.


An easy craft idea for Navratri - cotton garland

This is an easy and simple cotton garland for school projects and festivals like Navratri, Varalakshmi Vratham and Ganesh Chaturthi.

An easy cotton garland for school projects / Navratri , Varalakshmi Pooja festival decoration

  • Take a thin cardboard for the base and cut in the shape of a garland
  • The material  required are cotton thread , kundan stones , chamki in the shape of a leaf , golden thread or lace.
  • Cut the cotton thread to required length and roll as shown in the image below.
  • After rolling in the form of a spiral , stick the end with glue and wait for some time till the glue dries
  • Then stick the rolled cotton thread to the garland base using glue.
  • Stick a kundan stone to the centre of the rolled cotton
  • Then stick two chamki leaves on either side to complete the decoration
  • Complete the garland by sticking to the entire length of the garland
  • The garland after completion is also shown in an image below.
  • Golden  lace or thread to attached to both sides of the garland for holding it

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Another easy , simple garland for school projects , festivals Navratri , Varalakshmi Vratham 

Using cotton form spheres as we do for panju thiri malai ( gejje vastra ) for Pooja
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Place on a clean surface as shown in the image below with a chart paper below
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 Using a pair of scissors cut two get pairs of cotton ball or spheres
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 Place one over the other and paste to a plus like flower shape
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 Place two  more to get six  petalled flower and paste them together
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 Paste a kundan stone or chamki on the flower and place it on a golden lace or thread
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 The result is a simple and beautiful garland for decoration or craft projects as shown in the image below
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Children  can make it quite easily and it is easy for us also the create simple home made projects for drawing room decoration or for festivals like Navratri ( Dussehra ) or for Christmas decoration and New Year too .

Also can be used as a summer camp craft idea for children.  Nowadays summer camps are common where structured play is very common , what we did in our childhood was unstructured but joyful i.e no one decided our activities during our holidays or spare time , we decided them individually or as a group of kids.